Migrants help Pope Francis celebrate 85th birthday

  • The migrants come from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Syria, among others, and are the first of 50 people from camps in Cyprus that the pope has pledged to provide for.
Pope Francis will provide for 50 migrants to resettle in Italy as part of a deal between Italy, the Vatican and Cyprus to commemorate his trip earlier this month to the Mediterranean island.(Reuters)
Pope Francis will provide for 50 migrants to resettle in Italy as part of a deal between Italy, the Vatican and Cyprus to commemorate his trip earlier this month to the Mediterranean island.(Reuters)
Published on Dec 17, 2021 09:59 PM IST
Copy Link
Reuters | | Posted by Sharangee Dutta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

A group of migrants from refugee camps in Cyprus who are being resettled in Italy at Pope Francis' expense helped the pontiff celebrate his 85th birthday on Friday.

"You saved us," an African boy told the pope during a meeting in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace a day after the 12 arrived from Cyprus.

They wished him a happy birthday and gave him a painting made by an Afghan refugee showing migrants crossing the sea.

They come from Congo Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Somalia and Syria and are the first of 50 people from camps in Cyprus that the pope has pledged to provide for. The rest are due to arrive in the next few months and will be looked after and integrated into Italian society by the Catholic Sant' Egidio charity group.

The first group included doctors and information technology workers in their native countries, among others.

The pope will provide for 50 migrants to resettle in Italy as part of a deal between Italy, the Vatican and Cyprus to commemorate his trip earlier this month to the Mediterranean island.

Francis, who was elected the first pontiff from Latin America in 2013, has made defence of migrants and refugees a cornerstone of his pontificate.

Ethnically-divided Cyprus, the closest European Union member state to the Middle East, has struggled to manage an influx of migrants and refugees in the past two years.

Many asylum seekers access the southern government-controlled areas through the "Green Line" splitting the island after previously arriving in the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in its north.

The pope also visited Greece during the Dec. 2-6 trip, including a stop at a refugee camp on the island of Lesbos.

During a previous visit in 2016, he left Lesbos, then at the frontline of Europe's migration crisis, taking 12 Syrian refugees with him.

 

(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Susan Fenton)

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • UN Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet. (File photo)

    UN rights chief to visit China on May 23, may stop at Xinjiang amid abuse claims

    United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet will embark on a visit to China next week - from May 23 to May 28. As part of the visit, Bachelet's is scheduled to visit Guangzhou, Kashgar and the Xinjiang regional capital of Urumqi from where multiple reports of abuses of Uighur Muslims continue to surface.

  • US President Joe Biden (right) speaks with South Korean President Yoon Suk-youl next to him during a press conference after a visit to the Samsung Electronic Pyeongtaek Campus, in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, on Friday, the first day of his trip to Asia. (AP)

    IPEF a significant milestone in Washington’s Indo-Pacific engagement: NSA

    Ahead of President Joe Biden's official launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) in Tokyo next week, the United States on Friday said that a “wide-ranging and comprehensive” set of countries are set to join the initiative and it will represent a significant milestone in US engagement in the region. India has not made an official decision on joining the pact, but New Delhi is examining the framework “positively”.

  • A smartphone with the Huawei and 5G network logo is seen on a PC motherboard in this illustration picture. (REUTERS/ FILE)

    China says Canada’s Huawei, ZTE 5G ban ‘groundless’

    China on Friday hit out at Canada for banning Chinese telecoms giants Huawei and ZTE from Canadian 5G networks, warning of retribution and signalling a fresh bout of diplomatic tension between Beijing and Ottawa. Citing national security issues, Canada on Thursday said it plans to ban the use of China's Huawei Technologies' and ZTE Corp' 5G gear, joining the rest of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network comprising the US, Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

  • Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (R) poses with his wife Akshata Murty.

    British finance minister Rishi Sunak, wife Akshata Murthy in UK's Rich List

    British finance minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murthy have been included in the 'Rich List' of the 250 wealthiest British residents, Reuters reported. The couple's reported wealth is of 730 million pounds ($911.19 million). Sunak's inclusion in the The Sunday Times UK Rich List at the 222nd slot is a result of his wife Akshata Murthy, the daughter of Infosys co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy and philanthropist mother Sudha Murthy.

  • UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi

    Ukraine: UNHCR urges nations to not ignore other crises as war rages on

    The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees chief Filippo Grandi on Friday warned countries focussing on helping Ukraine to “not ignore the crises elsewhere”. The UNHCR said the global displacement crisis is also likely to worsen due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. The Group of Seven (G&) countries are providing $19.8 billion in aid to bolster Ukraine's public finances. Several other countries, including Japan and Germany, are providing help to Ukraine.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, May 20, 2022